Roger Deakins – The Man Who Wasn’t There
nothing new, but wanted to chime on.. Robby Mueller’s on Alice in the Cities, Vittorio Storaro on The Conformist, Tom DiCillo on Stranger than Paradise
Gabriel Figueroa on La Perla
and everything he has ever worked on
Maria Candelaria, Simon del Desierto, Los Olvidados, El, The Exterminating Angel, and so many more
He created several murals
We need more threads like these on MUBI. This is an endlessly engaging and intriguing subject.
(I’m breaking the rules here by mentioning more than one film, however these are four of my top five favorites):
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
The only other film I’ve seen which intoxicates the viewer’s eye with the wonders of nature at the same immediate level as Paradjanov’s masterpiece (not the grandiose and epic distance used in many films but the closeness—shot at the level of the ground, the flowers, the trees) is Malick’s Tree of Life. The positioning of the camera below the flowers as Ivan and Marichka whirl about and the graceful and fluid tracking shots as they run down through the forest with the sunlight shimmering conveys the Edenic innocence of childhood, obscuring Ivan and Marichka within sheathes of plants, underwater gazing up at their reflections, and through twisted, gnarled branches embodies the insularity of first love and later the enclosing labyrinth of death.
The Cranes Are Flying
Once again, what I appreciate so much in the cinematography displayed here is the sense of motion and vitality. The camera is so kinetic as it glides, hallucinatory, through the soldier’s dying flashbacks of his lost love and so visceral as it follows Veronica’s tearful running away past the railroad in the wintry bleakness. The dynamic forward momentum is exhilarating. The romantic yearning expressed here would not have been the same without the exemplary camerawork.
Tarkovsky already showed his genius at capturing the poetic and spiritual in Andrei Rublev yet here he does so in a way subtler and, for me, even more moving (although both films are masterpieces.) The camera deeply explores the landscape of a Brueghel painting in the most meticulous detail and the entire effect is hypnotic and revelatory—has a painting ever seemed less static and inanimate? It is brought to life and the viewer is transfixed. The same reverie passes over into human consciousness as Kris and Kari levitate in zero gravity. Now they are their own painting as Kari cradles Kris’ head in a Pieta gesture. Similar painterly long takes elevate images of frozen water as Kris returns home and the camera’s flight into the atmosphere above the family home gives the finale a haunting echo.
I’m hard pressed to think of another opening as perfect as the one in this film. The vast exploration of the desert scenery humbled by the presence of a lone stranger dwarfed by the barren surroundings vividly captures Wim Wenders’ wanderer narrative. This sense of urgency is then sublimated into the mythic as the camera photographs a still image worthy of a classic American frontier painting.
Glad to see this thread up and flying again, I tried and tried, so cheers to those who have brought it back.
I’d like to point out the solid work of Matthew Libatique on Black Swan.
I know the film gets a bad rap, but the cinematography and editing in the film are Stellar.
I enjoyed how parts of the films looked a stop under-exposed and how the grain of the stock was jumping and living within the image.
But when it reached the performance scenes, the image was clean, smooth.
And look at the lighting below, great use of practicals, and look at the beautiful backlight/hairlight on Kunis, not to mention the depth created in the frame.
man, looks like I shouldna said nothin’
I wish there was a way to publicize forum topics better. Don’t give up dude—this is by far one of the most interesting topics on the forum.
Robby Muller talks about working with Jarmusch, use of Black & White over color and more ..
I have 2 picks (i know that’s against the rules)John Toll in The Thin Red Line
the way he so eloquently makes the fields, the ocean, and the jungles characters themselves with his crystal clear photography of one of the most beautiful places on earth, juxtaposed with the amazing war sequences he filmed. very well done:
and Stephen Sodorbergh in Solaris (this is honestly some of the most beautiful sci-fi cinematography ever.
ok i will do one…i borrowed these from mischa’s thread on el sur (1983) d. víctor erice, dp. josé luis alcaine. the film is shot through with golden light like a painting of the dutch masters. magnificent
I’m an amateur independent DP, and ever since I saw Lawrence of Arabia for the first time as a teenager, my affection for the filmmaking process took off. I love looking at the ways in which cinema is crafted. Whether you be shooting on location in the deserts of Jordan or building a set piece on a sound stage, I find the way images are captured and the ways DPs use light as paint, illuminating the shadows to create their own canvas, to be the most interesting part of cinema to me. I’m a major fan of almost all cinema, but do I have some particular favorites which jump out at me, mostly due to the cinematography within the picture. One such film is Last Year at Marienbad, photographed by Sacha Vierny.
Sacha had already established himself as a DP with an eye for texture, smooth, godlike dolly work and variations between light and dark areas within the frame with Hiroshima, Mon Amour, but Last Year at Marienbad uses those elements in such an affective way for me.
Vierny takes full advantage of being the his location, emphasizing texture through the capturing of this ceiling.
Also, using long corridors and dollying down them (note, these stills don’t actually do the cinematography justice, but they give an idea), giving the film a hypnotic quality which seems to stretch back all the way into eternity.
Here’s an example of how Vierny use the full latitude of his medium, allowing a lot of the frame to fall into the blacks, like a visual metaphor of memory or lack thereof, while still allowing varying amounts of light to stream in.
And, finally, there’s this shot, which is the most shocking to me. After the film goes through great lengths to leave us in the shadows, at a moment of realization, the film is allowed to be overexposed and contrast against the entire rest of the picture.
Vierny’s work with Resnais is remarkable. Last Year at Marienbad may have simple imagery, in contrast to the seemingly complex structure and concept of the film, but I love it when simplistic cinematic or just plain visual ideas are executed precisely and to a T. I believe simplicity brings out drama and it certainly does here in Last Year at Marienbad.
INTERNET ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS
the biggest troll thread ever
This thread could have been something, but then it just turned into posting pretty pictures
Too bad, that last post by GaffordKINO was good too. Something like this with a little more direction or shepherding in some form is kinda what this place needs. The trouble is in expecting people to already have a clear idea of the terms of the topic beforehand, so this kind of thread will almost certainly turn into a pretty picture one unless there is someway to convert what people see and like into something more concrete.
Edit: Oh, and yes, I’m well aware Uli shepherds like a motherfucker, no one pulls threads up more often and agitates for response more than him. I meant more that some other manner of interest needs to be evoked for those who may not have thought these things through beforehand or otherwise not know what to say about the subject.
is this too picture-filled? i fancy doing something similar for river of grass and my brother tom.
There are a lot of pictures, but you take some time to explain what you want people to see in the pictures.
Explanation is the thing, while there is the playful “A picture tells a thousand words,” they are not always the words you want people to get in why you think something is brilliant. A dissertation is not handing in a pretty picture. It is a picture dissected by words.